Hello, gentleman.
This is my first  post in this forum after lurking for good year or so. I have a problem. The problem is me and I do not know how to handle it.

I am 23 year old, studying History in College. After I finished high school, I been working off and on for two years, mostly very low paid part time jobs. Noone gave me a chance and I did not really enjoy a company of people in those jobs. I decided to go to college, study History because I like it. First I was rejected, second try they accepted me.

Now I am in the middle of exam period and as always I am struglling as much as one can. Ever since I started college I slowly began to hate History and.. still there were classes which I enjoyed so after two years you could easily see I was most active student among those who studied along me, during seminars I was more active than all of rest of students together. Funny part is ,out of 30 students, 21 were kicked already and from rest of those 7 (excluding me) not even one want to be a real historian, yet their grades are hundreed perccent better than mine. When it comes to exams I just failed badly. I have trouble keeping focus on studying and I am always procrastinating and then I am mad at myself cuz I did not study.. and all over again like a vicious circle.
The problem is ...I do not want to get kicked, but I can not find a will to study. And it is all just getting worse and worse. I do not know what to do. I feel like I am not happy in my life but I am scared to change it and I believe that is what affects my studium as well. It is like I lost thread of life.

I am probably not even asking for help, just needed to tell someone. Thank you for bothering.

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This may not be the kind of answer you want...........but here it goes. In life you are going to have to do things that you may not want. Whether it is for school, work, or family. You are going to have to suck it up and do it and get the job done. Success is not easy and takes work. If you want it then put in the work.

Well, honesty is always good way to go.

I'm a biosci student, and we have a lot of required classes that frankly I hate studying for. I wouldn't even consider myself that passionate about biology ... I don't eat, sleep, and breathe biology (actually, technically I do ... lemme rephrase that), but it's probably the thing I'm most interested in that will reliably put food on the table. Actually, if I had my druthers, I would probably spend all day lounging around in my underwear watching videos online; I hate studying.  

... But I manage to get (reasonably) good grades in biology. I'm not terribly motivated, so what I have to do is force myself into a situation where I can't really do anything but study: stay on campus, preferably at the library. I put off going home as late as possible, because once I have my computer, especially after a long day of lectures, there's no way I'm going to have the willpower to open a book. ... That method probably won't do anything for your motivation, but it will get results, at least.

Of course, you also might want to look into switching to another course of study, as has been suggested.

I did stay on campus for days, I even went to campus when I had no class at all. It helped me a lot. I should probably choose this way and push it to limit.

First thing you need to ask yourself is that is the profession related to history something you truly want. If it is then you just need to focus on the goal and strive everyday to get through school tasks and exams. In every major there is always something that sucks. You just have to find your "why" why are you studying it and then just do that boring stuff because that's what you need to do in order to reach your goals.

First you are not alone.  You have never been trained to study or manage your time and how to really be in charge of yourself.  We don’t as a culture teach our youth self-governance.  Parents, especially helicopter parents who plan every part of the child’s day.

Read the book 7 Habits of Highly effective people.  It was hot in the late 80/early 90s but it is still fundamentally solid.

Get a pen and paper day planner and plan out your day.  Then LOG your days as you go through it.

When you sit down for breakfast make it a habit to open your day runner and see what you have planned.  Check of the parts about getting up and eating at x time.  If you did not do X at Y time, log when you did. 

At lunch, log the time between breakfast and lunch.

At enjoy dinner, and such.  At the end of the day.  Log.

When you study open your day runner at put it aside.  Mark of your studies and what you studied.


Once a week sit down at a pub with a beer and review your week.  If you consistently actually do something at a different time than planned, PLAN IT FOR THEN.  Don’t fight yourself into a mentality of I must do X NOW.  Simply opening your day planner will help you focus on your goals.  Logging will help you keep in check.  The feedback from the logging will help you see when you do things.

I suspect you will see when you are goofing off more and find it easier to try to get some study time in.

Also this is for you, not for show, so be painfully honest.

I wish you the best, this is really the only process I know to really address what you are doing and make the changes you need to.

Good luck.

I have read some of the responses that suggest take a step back and this can be done, however there is the temptation to put off starting back up "next semester...................then next semester"

Education is a self filtering process, you have already stated the issues, you know what the problem is not jut make sure to not keep those bad habbits.  MAKE yourself study, MAKE yourself complete the coursework, MAKE yourself learn the course material.  or you may wind up on here in another post "I am 28 years old, didnt finish college, not sure what to do...."  Just finsh the program and go forward.  There will be jobs you dont like, people you dont like to work with.  Dont start a habit of quitting.

To be clear, I told him to choose a soft major he likes and get it out of the way. 

Though I don't think you could give me a definitive list of qualities a Literature degree would give over a History one, or vice versa, for the job market one will face with only a BA/BS.  Both focus on research, writing, and being able to make your point.

They are great traits to have, but they are not exclusive to one such liberal arts degree over the other.

Debt is already incurred most likely.  

Any degree trumps no degree, the right degree trumps any degree.

As to I don't know what I want to do with my life.

Really that is an age old question, and as you age for many it is still the question.

This may not be (and probably isn't) the root of your dilemma, but establishing good study habits is a must. Search online for study guides, not for the subject at hand, but for studying itself.

Being a good student is possible even without a passion for the subject. AoM even has some great sources. If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading the AoM article about finite willpower.

You can't just cram your brain full of information all in one sitting, you'll burn out, and will probably remember less that 1/4 of the information. Just as you can't get shredded in the gym with 3 hours of effort, no matter how hard you try.

So, study skills will help. Learn how to learn better, and the internet will be your friend in this. 

I was also a history major, and I survived a similar cut from 25 down to 8 one semester. My professor enjoyed bragging about how hard her class was, and she respected me for sticking with it. I also respect her for being the most demanding person I've ever had to work under. 

That being said, a History degree is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you probably won't be working with history as a career. On the other, you are learning several skills that make you a great future employee and even manager. My fellow history grads have ended up in all kinds of fields: teaching, retail, banking. I ended up being a Library Director. 

That's the thing about soft majors. English, History, Business...they leave you a lot of options. You will just be competing for those jobs with far more people than you would with a more specialized degree. 

If you are going the soft major route, study what you like and get your degree over with. Then get out there and start fighting for jobs. 


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